Bono, who had once said that he voted for the first time when he was 53 years old, decided to run after experiencing great frustration with the local government when trying to open a restaurant in Palm Springs.
He won the election and served as mayor for four years, spearheading the creation of the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
In 1994, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives to represent California’s 44th congressional district. During this time, he was one of twelve co-sponsors responsible of a House bill extending copyright. After his passing, the U.S. Senate passed a similar bill in his memory, titled the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act.